First Information Report (FIR) is a written document prepared by the police when they receive information about the commission of a cognizable offence. It is a report of information that reaches the police first in point of time and that is why it is called the First Information Report.

You can file an FIR if:

*You are the person against whom the offence has been committed;

*You know yourself about an offence which has been committed;

*You have seen the offence being committed.

In Which Cases Can an FIR Be Registered?

Section 154(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 clearly points out that an FIR could be registered only in case of cognizable offences. Cognizable offences refer to those offences in which the police are permitted to arrest the accused without a warrant. In such offences, the police can Suo moto take the cognizance of the offence and it does not require any sanction from the court in order to begin the investigation.

On the other hand, non-cognizable offences are those in which police cannot make a conviction without taking a prior assent from the court. Schedule I of the Criminal Procedure Code clearly distinguishes as to which offences are cognizable and which are not.

Refusal to Register FIR: Legal or Illegal?

The main query that comes up in this situation is whether the police station officer in charge has the authority to refuse filing a formal complaint under any circumstances. To that, the answer is in the affirmative. In two situations, the police officer’s refusal to make a formal complaint is usually deemed lawful: either the complaint concerns a very minor matter, or the police station in question does not have jurisdiction over the offense in question.


Statutory Remedies

If Officer in charge (SHO)/ Police officer declines to register an FIR then the complainant/ aggrieved person can report it to the concerned higher authority/ Superintendent by submitting a complaint in writing and by post.

If further the Superintendent declines to take note of the complaint the next option available before the aggrieved is to file a criminal complaint before the Judicial Magistrate or the Metropolitan Magistrate under Section 156 (3).

Alternate Remedies

*Can approach to High Court by way of Writ Petition and ask for appropriate compensation.

*Can lodge a formal complaint in the State Human Rights Commission, or the National Human Rights Commission.

*File a complaint under Section 166A of IPC wherein if the public servant concerned failed to record any information given to him under subsection (1) 0f Section 154 of the Cr.P.C, 1973, in relation to cognizable Offences punishable under Section 326A, Section 326B, Section 354, Section 354B, Section 370, Section 370A, Section 376, Section 376A, Section 376B, Section 376C, Section 376D, Section 376E, or Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code, the maximum punishment ranges from rigorous imprisonment for a period of 6 to 24 months in addition to cash penalty.

Consequences of Non-Registration Of FIR-

The police officers who are at default regarding the refusal of registration of FIR in case of cognizable cases may face several consequences owing to their inaction. If no action is taken by the concerned authorities even after the aggrieved had gone for all the above-mentioned statutory as well as judicial remedies then he may opt for the following actions.

The aggrieved person may file a writ petition in the respective High Court for the issuing of Writ of Mandamus against the delinquent police officers, and then the Court would direct them to come up with the reasoning as to why they did not lodge the report.

Another alternative that the aggrieved person could go for is to file a Writ Petition in the respective High Court to seek compensation if such non-lodging of the report has caused the person deprivation of his right to life and personal liberty as guaranteed by Article 21 of our Constitution.

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